Two and a quarter centuries ago delegates gathered at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. They gathered to sign the law of their new country, the United States of America.
The Constitutional Convention assembled in May 1787. The convention was scheduled to begin May 14, however, there were not enough members present to begin until May 25.
Throughout the summer of 1787, the delegates drafted the Constitution to replace the current law, the Articles of Confederation.
The Articles of Confederation became America’s law after the Revolutionary War. John Dickinson authored the Articles. Among those signing Dickinson’s Articles into law were inventor Benjamin Franklin, future president at that time and author of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson and the first United States president George Washington.
After some time, the delegates — which are nearly equivalent to representatives and senators today — realized the Articles were not doing their job. They decided to create a new document to serve as the law of the land. This document, the Constitution, became the law on Sept. 17, 1787.
To honor this day, fourth and fifth grade students at Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School on Shippensburg University’s campus learned the preamble of the Constitution. They recited it with SU President William Ruud in front of the Ezra Lehman Library.
The students’ classmates, teachers and families who came to watch were joined by university officials to hear the students recite the preamble.